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Time to share some turkey recipes

Outdoors commentary

Back in the 1970s when I decided to try my hand at outdoors writing, I vowed I would never let myself get pigeonholed as a cooking columnist.

The only time back then that you saw a woman’s name on a magazine article, or newspaper column, was to tell someone how to cook game and fish. I simply didn’t want to be known for that. It wasn’t my specialty anyway. I’ve always told people I am much better at bagging it than I am at cooking it.

Still I wanted to know how to cook wild game for myself so I begged, borrowed but never stole others’ recipes and here are a couple of my favorites.

Still, the most important tip I can ever give is to be so careful not to overcook any wild meat. Wild meat is not laced with fat as domestic meat is so to overcook it is to assure that it will be tough and dry.

When I bag a wild turkey, I do not pluck it. I put the bird on its back then slit the breast open, stick my gloved hands on each side and simply skin the bird. Then I filet out the two breast filets, clean and freeze them.

When I wish to prepare my absolute favorite recipe, I thaw the breast, then cut the breast filet into half-inch slices. Soak in a mixture of milk and egg, which helps to tenderize it, for an hour before cooking. Remove from egg mixture; roll in bread crumbs and drop into hot oil in a skillet.

Cook a minute and a half on each side. Do not overcook. When bread crumbs are golden brown, it’s ready. Remove from heat with tongs, place on paper towel or brown bag to drain and serve immediately. Most of us who have fixed turkey breast this way never again cook it any other way.

The next recipe is an example of something so delicious it could be a company meal.

APPLE AND HICKORY WILD TURKEY BREAST

2 cups Ducks Unlimited seasoned Hickory Marinade, divided.

1 tablespoon Ducks Unlimited Poultry and Game Seasoning and Rub.

2 cups apple juice, divided

2 boneless, skinless wild turkey breast halves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot

2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with equal part cold water

3 tablespoons chilled butter

Sliced apple garnish, optional

In a large resealable plastic bag, combine one cup each of Seasoned Hickory Marinade and apple juice with the Poultry and Game Seasoning Rub. Reserve remaining marinade and juice. Place turkey in bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator for 2-6 hours.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Remove marinated turkey from bag and pat dry with paper towels. Discard used marinade. Add turkey to pan and cook until browned, about five minutes. Turn breast over and cook for an additional two minutes. Add reserved marinade and juice, along with garlic and ginger to pan. Cook until liquid is reduced by half; about 8-10 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture to thicken and then reduce heat to medium.

Remove turkey from skillet when just cooked. Slice breast across the grain of the meat into ¢ inch thick slices. Remove skillet from heat and whisk in chilled butter until melted. Spoon over sliced meat and garnish with sliced apples, if desired.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Marinate time: 2 to 6 hours

Prep. Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 to 25 minutes.

I use turkey legs for soup or turkey and noodles, turkey and waffles, turkey and dumplings.

Either roast the legs or even better, use a crock-pot if you have one large enough to hold the legs and cook them until almost over-done. Remove the meat from the bones and make any of the above dishes.

A hunting buddy of mine from Mill Hall, Lee Russell, gave me this great recipe for turkey pie. This is great for company.

TURKEY PIE

1/3 cup chopped celery

2 cups seasoned stuffing mix

3 cups chopped turkey

6 tbsp. Butter or oleo

2 tbsp onion

2 tbsp parsley

3 beaten eggs

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 5oz. Can evaporated milk

4-oz. Shredded cheddar cheese

1 tsp. salt

1 single serving size package

mushroom soup

Cook celery in butter until tender. Add 2/3-cup water and stuffing mix and set aside. Combine eggs, milk, soup mix, onion, pepper and salt. Stir in turkey.

Pour into 10-12 inch casserole skillet which has been greased. Sprinkle with cheese, top with stuffing, cover and cook over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with mushroom sauce using two single envelopes of mushroom soup mix and one cup boiling water.

Enjoy!

Shirley Grenoble writes a weekly outdoors column for the Mirror. She can be reached shigren@verizon.net

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